Child’s Play

How to plan for and engage kids in lively portrait sessions
Text & Photography By Shannon Sewell
Kids can be your cutest, most animated, uninhibited and fun subjects to photograph. They can also be the most distracted, emotionally charged, quick-moving and difficult. So, how do you plan for the latter while creating the former? Successful children's photography relies heavily on being able to connect with the child…

Lighting For Skin Tones

How to make skin look great with subtle changes to the position and quality of the light source—whether that’s a strobe or sunlight or anything in between
By William Sawalich
There's one thing all portrait subjects share in common: They want to look good. Young and old, men and women alike, everybody hates to see their wrinkles and blemishes on display. So learn how to light to minimize flaws and produce smooth, flattering skin tones. IT ALL STARTS IN THE…

Travel Portraits

Breaking the ice and getting the shot
Text And Photography By Tom Bol
When I first started to shoot travel portraits, I was paralyzed at the thought of approaching complete strangers and taking their picture. I was convinced they'd start hurtling expletives my way the second I raised my camera. Better to hide in the bushes with a long lens and "paparazzi" the…

The Blinking Highlight Method Of Exposure Verification

Digital cameras and post-processing software all offer "blinking highlights." Here's how to use them to determine if your exposure is exactly as it should be.
By William Sawalich
Flashing highlights, blinking highlights, blinkies, zebras. Each of these is a different name for the same thing: an overexposed highlight alert that many DSLRs use to alert the photographer that they've blown out details in the highlights. This alert can actually be used as a very precise and effective exposure…

Fix Your Hair

How to use Photoshop to make improvements to a portrait subject’s hair
By William Sawalich
I love shooting portraits. The only problem is, more than almost any other photographic subject, people tend to have very strong opinions about how they’d like to look in their portraits. That means you have to get very good at not only making them look great with your choices of…

Dramatic Lighting - Up Close and Personal

With the light close to the subject, contrast and drama both increase
By William Sawalich
When I interviewed tremendous luxury car photographer Tim Wallace last year, I was struck by how dramatic many of his automotive detail shots are. He’s a master of using light to let a sensuous subject emerge from the shadows, and he told me how he does it: lots of light.…
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